It’s all about me!


I’m a selfish man by nature… I really can’t help, I was born that way.

I was thinking about this recently and discussing how easy it is to live that way with a brother of mine. It comes quite naturally in most situations, but one of the times I notice it most is when I return from business trips.

I’m in an unusual sort of business. Believe it or not someone pays me to provide times for the participants in a running race. This business requires me to be away from home on numerous occasions and sometimes during the peak running season I can be gone for up to a week at some of our very large events.

It’s in these times that I’m particularly prone to myself. It’s almost like a surreal world that I reside when I’m at these events. The bottom line is that I have a certain amount of work that needs to be accomplished and I need to ensure it gets done. I wake up when I need to wake up, do the things that I need to do, feed myself when I’m hungry (in most cases) and don’t have to wait around for a wife and children.

It’s probably similar to a military man on deployment. He’s hanging with the guys and then they head out on their missions. When I come home it’s sometimes difficult to re-adjust. I have to attempt to snap out of “Kevin only” mode and start considering the ones God has placed in my life to nurture. It’s really much more difficult than you think and on more than one occasion (or maybe all of them), my wife has to gently remind me that she desires adult conversation when I return home. And, “oh right, I almost forgot God requires me to lead my family.”

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s word is sharper than any two-edged sword, and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and this is very sharp indeed for me.

Husbands love your wives…  Ephesians 5:25

Husbands your wife is a weaker vessel… 1 Peter 3:7

Father’s train your children… Ephesians 6:4

It goes on and on for me and I’ve often found myself knowing that I need to put things off to stay ahead of the impending email that will soon invade my inbox. I’m pulled in a lot of directions, because Jen wants me to lead and I just got done leading and I’m a bit worn out.

It would certainly be a lot easier to just hide somewhere, but I can’t wait to get home and I can’t wait to see Jen and the girls, so the war rages inside.   I have responsibilities and I must provide for my family, but I must also lead them and nourish them and train them.

So the battle continues and it will for a lifetime, because one day the kids will be out of the house and then my role will change, but God still doesn’t let me off the hook. Lord willing I’ll still be a husband, and Lord willing I’ll still be a father, and Lord willing I will be a grandfather and have the opportunity to live out a multi-generational vision for my grandchildren.

What a battle…what a life…what an opportunity to deny myself, take up my cross and serve and honor the Lord.   He never promised a life of ease and comfort, actually just the opposite. If the Christian life you live is a little too easy, maybe it’s not true Christianity and maybe a war needs to rage within you?

It’s pretty easy to live life on cruise control. Jesus said those who desire to keep their life will lose it and those who desire to lose their life will find it. I desire to lose my life, but that doesn’t make it easy.



Teach them… Part 2

This past Saturday we attended a wedding.  One of my cousin’s daughters was getting married and it gave us a wonderful opportunity to see some family that we haven’t seen in many years.  I’m pretty certain I could write several posts on different observations I had at this wedding but I’m going to stay focused on my children for this article.

I want start by asking a question.  What do you expect from your children when you go to an event such as a wedding?  Or have you never given this any consideration.

I’m sure most parents will give the standard line, “now we want you to behave while you’re here today…” or something similar to this.

…And I could ask the question why do you want them to behave?  Is it for your benefit, their benefit or some other reason?  Maybe I’m getting off track already, but I’d like you to think why you want your children to behave?

One of the things I’ve began to focus on is the intentionality with which we instruct our children.  If we are to teach them diligently in the ways of the Lord and do this when they rise, when we walk by the way and when they lie down, that includes the whole day.  So as we drove to the wedding I asked the girls what is our purpose here today?

In short our purpose is to represent Jesus Christ, to be different, to be set-apart (holy), to bring all things into submission under the Lordship of Christ.  This is a biblical mandate for the Believer (Matthew 28:19-20).

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

My job as a parent to my children is to instruct them in “Biblical” wisdom, to give them a purpose for their life.  I need to instruct them that life is a battleground and not a playground.  I would make an assertion today that if you are not intentionally training your children for battle they are still on the playground.

This became very evident to me this weekend as I spent time observing the behavior of a number of the children at this wedding.

I want to be careful not to throw this as a blanket statement over all of them and I can only speak to the moments in time I observed them.  I don’t know all of their lives very well.  However, to see those walking with the wise and those that are a companion of fools became very clear.

I considered what is the desire of most children?  It appeared to me many of them would desire more time with their IPhones than trying to learn anything from someone wiser than they are.  If you ask one of these children a question will you get more than a one word or at best a one sentence answer?  Do they quickly turn back to Temple Run, Facebook or their next text message?

One of the criticisms most people make about children that are Home-educated, is the “socialization” stigma.  People are “concerned” that these kids are somehow being sheltered and can’t engage society.  I see a couple types of socialization that we can discuss.  One is the negative aspect of being socialized.  This I’m willing to bear that stigma.  I don’t care if my children are ever socialized into the culture of this world.

Are they companions of fools?  Do they only want to be around their friends, spend time playing video games, communicating with their smart-phones; do they despise their parents?  This type of socialization I’m more than happy for my children not to have.

Then the other type of socialization that I just don’t see in the Home-school families I’ve been exposed to is the ones that can sit and have an on-going conversation with an adult.  These kids don’t have their face planted in a phone all day long.

I would like you to really take a moment and think about your children in this manner.  Does it happen by accident?  Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6 instruct parents and fathers specifically to train your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  Part of this training is gaining a mastery of the language, through reading, writing and speaking.

Not speaking to their friends via text messaging…

Talking face to face with someone, knowing how to discuss the topics of the day or more importantly how to give a defense for their faith and the hope they have in Christ if they are a Believer.

Jen and I had a great affirmation of our diligent efforts to train on Saturday.  We asked our second daughter Madeline to come outside with us and take a picture.  We left our oldest daughter Grace inside to stay with my Aunt Jan at the table.  Grace quickly agreed and smiled as we left.  She was sitting with one chair between her and Jan and as we walked across the room we looked back and watched Grace slide over to the chair directly next to her to so she could be more engaged in the conversation.

Are we proud of this because Grace’s actions made us look good?  This is the desire of most parents I would assert.  No, we want it to open up the door for the gospel to be preached.  It is the only thing that holds value in this world.  It is the purpose of raising our children.

Ecclesiastes 6:3-6 If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he-for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.  Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, even if he lives a thousand years twice-but has not seen goodness.  Do not all go to one place?

If you want your children to be successful so they can have a better life, you might want to reconsider your purpose and theirs.  That might have some temporary value, but does it have eternal value?  Does it matter without eternity in mind?